Google bombs can now target your face

If you weren’t familiar with Google bombs before the recently-deceased Republican primaries, you are now. But where Google bombs were once merely textual, Google’s recent makeover has enabled an all-new visual – and therefore, more visceral – application of the process.

Most search results are unchanged, but – in an effort to synthesize some information about the search subject without forcing users to click on anything – some will now be accompanied by the ‘Knowledge Graph’. Why Google thought teaching its users to click less would be a good idea is beyond me – after all, the company makes its money on clicks – but I’m not complaining: as you may have gathered from the title of this post, the Knowledge Graph opens new creative horizons in Google bombing. And while the examples I managed to scrounge up so far are certainly not without explanation, I wonder how long it will take for people to start stacking the Image results.

Continue reading Google bombs can now target your face


Perspective on the current status of the Facebook IPO

So this was just over two weeks ago:

Facebook boosts IPO share price amid hot demand

By Charlotte Raab | AFP – Tue, May 15, 2012

Amid signs of strong investor demand, Facebook on Tuesday boosted the share price estimate for its stock market debut, giving the leading social network a value that could top $100 billion.

Facebook will price its initial public offering (IPO) between $34 to $38 per share, up from a range of $28 to $35, according to paperwork filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

I know it isn’t really news that Facebook’s stock is down, but given the initial valuation, I do think it’s worth noting that yesterday saw the price drop below $28 for the first time, before settling on 28.19 at the closing bell:

Really, this was something I would have preferred to share on Twitter, but sometimes 140 characters just doesn’t cut it.

FTR, ‘it’ was word number 142.

Elisheva Goldberg: Genesis of an anti-Israel activist

So much anti-Israel, so little time:

The Rosh Beit Medrash of Uri L’Tzedek, Elisheva Goldberg, is an Anti-Israel activist…

– Daniel Greenfield, The Left-Wing Movement to Hijack Kosher Food

Seattle, Washington. Epicenter of anti-Israel activism: St. Mark’s Cathedral. Olympia Food Co-op. Evergreen State College. And childhood home of the notorious Elisheva N. Goldberg.

Having known Ms. Goldberg for nearly a quarter century, I consider myself uniquely positioned to offer insight into her psyche, her thoughts, her motives, what drives her to act as she does. I often find myself lying awake at night, critically thinking about the critical questions: Where did things go so wrong? How did she go from such a normal upbringing to a known provocateur and terrorist sympathizer, if not a terrorist herself?

I can’t say I have all the answers, but I can point to an article I recently dredged up that I believe betrays the seeds of Elisheva – if that’s her real name – Goldberg – if that’s her real name – Anti-Israel activist.

The article appeared in Between the Lines, publication of Northwest Yeshiva High School, nearly seven-and-a-half years ago. Without further ado, the early work of Elisheva Goldberg, which I believe will provide some insight into the monster she has become, and – I think you will agree – already was at an early date [I have highlighted the anti-Israel portions in bold for your convenience]:

Continue reading Elisheva Goldberg: Genesis of an anti-Israel activist

I can’t believe this was seven-and-a-half years ago

I recently shared The Yale 250 I didn’t submit, written to answer the question, ‘Why Yale?’ Since I’m easily distracted, that experience inspired me to dig through some old files and fish out* ‘Why Penn?’, submitted on October 30, 2004.

*this isn’t a mixed metaphor; I was digging through the top of a frozen pond, not fishing in some hole I dug

While I wrote the essay for Yale of my own free will, I distinctly remember annoyance toward Penn’s request – an annoyance I think evident in the stiffness of my writing, and my bland, generic answers. Still, I thought it might be fun to compare my expectations with how four-and-a-half years as a student at Penn actually turned out.

The essay is included sequentially in its entirety, with a director’s cut track included for optional commentary:

Continue reading I can’t believe this was seven-and-a-half years ago

Jeffrey Goldberg’s favorite Israeli ad is back

All this talk of Verizon ads – the post Verizon: Stop playing that goddamn Mother’s Day ad is now the most-viewed post in this blog’s short history, and seems to have worked to boot! – reminds me that I’ve been meaning to follow up on the ad campaign that marked Paper Treiger’s public debut: the infamous Ministry of Immigrant Absorption ads skewered by Jeffrey Goldberg, among others.

We’re coming up on six months now since the ads caused a stir, and I would imagine it’s also been a while since you last heard of them. I imagine you imagined they’ve been put to rest.

Well, you’d be wrong.

While the Christmas ad was taken down from the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption’s official Youtube Channel, the Memorial Day and the ‘Daddy‘ ads are still up. This isn’t all that surprising, though I do find it ironic that the video Goldberg focused on, and that therefore started the furor by proxy, is still up.

What I did find mildly surprising is that the video that seemed to garner the least attention the first time around – ‘daddy’ – has been repurposed, sort of:

Continue reading Jeffrey Goldberg’s favorite Israeli ad is back

Psychoanalyzing Bibi’s signature

Yesterday, my dear cousin provided some insight into what happens inside Bibi’s head. Today, I decided to get into the game.

Over the weekend, I noticed his signature for the first time:

I was glad to see he didn’t get all cute – say, ‘B.B.’ – though personally, I would have gone with BN (better than BO!).

More importantly, I was confused about how a capital N turned into a lower-case h – until I realized:

Continue reading Psychoanalyzing Bibi’s signature

Jackie Robinson’s estate risks coloring his memory (pun intended)

Word came down Friday that t-shirts in memory of Greg Halman will be available in June. Mike Carp first announced that the shirts would be available as far back as February, so why the delay?

Turns out, he ran into legal issues stemming from his use of the above quote from Jackie Robinson.

I’ll keep this brief, because I prefer not to dwell on Halman’s tragic story, but here’s how things went down:

[Carp] offered up some news about those Greg Halman t-shirts he’s having made and which should be available in Mariners Team Stores come June.

It turns out, the Jackie Robinson Foundation declined to allow Carp to use the quote from Robinson that was initially put on the shirts. It took a month for Carp to hear back from the foundation, which contacted him just before the team left for Japan in mid-March.

Now listen here, Jackie Robinson’s estate. Let’s review the use to which the quote would have gone, via Geoff Baker’s Mariners Blog on the Seattle Times website:

Continue reading Jackie Robinson’s estate risks coloring his memory (pun intended)

Another quick follow-up: BDS comes to Penn

Since many of the people who read this blog go and/or* went to Penn, I would imagine there’s a decent chance you are familiar with BDS from its stunt at Frogro or its national conference at the University of Pennsylvania.

*the ‘and’ in ‘and/or’ is for myself

If not, some quick background.

BDS’ decision to hold a conference at Penn sparked a bit of a furor in the Jewish world, prompting this measured letter from Amy Gutmann:

A campus student group, Penn BDS, is planning a national conference in February that will encourage boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

This is not an event sponsored by the University. The event is being sponsored by a registered student group, as is permitted of any student group on campus.

The University of Pennsylvania has clearly stated on numerous occasions that it does not support sanctions or boycotts against Israel.  Indeed, Penn has important and successful scholarly collaborations with Israeli institutions that touch on many areas of our academic enterprise.

Penn has always supported free expression and the free exchange of ideas. These are essential elements of a great university.  These principles apply to this event, as they would any other student event, whether or not we agree with or condone the message BDS seeks to communicate.

In response, someone launched a petition asking Amy ‘to show that Penn is unquestionably Pro-Israel’:

Continue reading Another quick follow-up: BDS comes to Penn

While we’re on gay marriage, could someone please explain this to me?

My last post, Stop citing the Bible in support of gay marriage, addressed an article on Religion Dispatches about the definition of traditional marriage. Another essay published two days earlier on that same website addresses a different issue: the opposition of the ‘Black Church’ to gay marriage.

When I started reading the article – entitled Obama’s Gay Marriage Support Shocks Black Church – I expected to find a fairly straightforward account of conflicting loyalties: a conservative institution (the ‘Black Church’ is, after all, a church) trying to reconcile its religious beliefs with a desire to support America’s first black president. So I was surprised to instead discover the following two-paragraph dissertation on the institution of ‘Black Marriage’:

If you wonder why the issue of same-sex marriage is so freighted for African Americans, it is not simply because of their biblical beliefs. It is a deep historical narrative. Many enslaved African Americans were not allowed to marry, and after the Civil War, searched desperately to find their partners. Those who were lucky, married. Weddings were seen as a sign of prosperity, and joy for all in the community. Long before Star Jones had a lavish wedding (she has since divorced), Sister Rosetta Tharpe, former Church of God in Christ Evangelist and eminent guitar player, had her wedding in a stadium with 20,000 in attendance. Tharpe’s wedding music and service was recorded by Decca records, and sold well. Juanita Bynum and Bishop Thomas Weeks’ wedding was a spectacle, topped only by their subsequent breakup and divorce. Many church women I knew wanted to model their wedding after the Bynum and Weeks wedding long after it was clear the magic was over.

So when the black president says marriage is for everybody, straight or gay, and that it comes out of his faith, it elicits a visceral response from African-American Christians who have staked their spiritual and social lives on the institution of marriage. The admiration in the African-American community for the president and first lady’s marriage shines as a beacon of possibility, for married couples and singles alike. The sight of a black family in the White House is the pinnacle of what many African-American Christians believe a marriage should be. For them, hearing President Obama support same-sex marriage is sacrilege.

I read it, read it again, read the comments, and still do not understand this passage. Its inclusion in the article seems to indicate that the issue is not religious – less about the ‘Black Church’ than about ‘Black Marriage’. But even that does not fully explain what any of this has to do with ‘sacrilege’. So if you do somehow understand, please share in the comments. Or by email. I’m not picky, I just want to know.